We talk about goals a lot—here at Shine and also as a society at large. Whether a new year/month/week is rolling in or birthday celebrations are around the corner, the idea of setting a goal is always at the tip of tongues.

We celebrate when we achieve them or take what we can learn if we fall short, but we never sit with the time right after you declare your intentions for the new season of your life.

What happens in that space of saying your goal and doing what it takes to accomplish that goal?

Well, planning and strategy.

One of the first things to do before taking on a new project is understand what tools and support you need to help you reach the finish line.

Think of it like a recipe: You need to know your ingredients and what to do with them before you can end up with your final, yummy result.

One of the first things to do before taking on a new project is understand what tools and support you need to help you reach the finish line.

There are a lot of different ways you can bridge that gap between now and the end of your journey—but before we break them down for you, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to go from 0 to 100 miles per hour.

In fact, it's better in the long run if you don't.

It’s easy to want to dive into the deep end with a goal—you’re itching for immediate results and want to get there ASAP. But that's often a recipe for burnout. By setting a doable and paced goal for yourself, you’re not asking yourself to do more than you can sustainably do and you're setting yourself up to actually accomplish your goal.

Once you have that mindset, try out these different strategies and stick with one (or multiple) that suits your day-to-day schedule.

If parts of different tactics work don’t be shy about creating your own, too!

Understand Your Why

Whether you want to save money, embrace a healthy lifestyle, boost your confidence, or ease your anxiety—the best way to achieve any or all of these goals is by understanding your why.

We all have an intrinsic motivation behind our goals, but we often forget to use it to our advantage. When you stop and sit with a goal and breakdown why you want to achieve it, the day-to-day journey of getting there feels a little easier—and research shows that when goals feel good, we’re more likely to achieve them.

Plus, uncovering your "why" can help motivate you in the long-run.

Whether your reasons are small or large, taking time to break out your "why" can help remind you of your motives. If it’s helpful, try writing it down so you can revisit it when you need a boost.

Embrace Micro-productivity

Let’s revisit that recipe analogy: It takes multiple steps to create a delicious dish (just watch the folks on Bon Appetit’s YouTube). The same technique can be applied to your life. Micro-productivity is another way of taking small steps to get to your end goal.

Take it from Melissa Gratias, Ph.D., a workplace productivity coach and speaker: “Breaking tasks down helps us to see large tasks as more approachable and doable, and reduces our propensity to procrastinate or defer tasks, because we simply don’t know where to begin.”

How this comes to life: Break down you big goal into daily achievable steps, then write them down in a planner or calendar to help you stay on track.

Break down you big goal into daily achievable steps.

Set an MEA

A MEA—or Minimum Enjoyable Action—is something that you can do on a regular basis that’s deceptively simple.

If it’s so simple that it makes you laugh out loud, then you’re on the right track. For example: If you have a goal to read more this year, try a MEA of reading one page (yup, just one page) a day.

Often times, you might find yourself reading more than one page or doing a bit more than your MEA. That’s OK! Let it serve as a reminder that progress happens on your timeline, and you can always level up your MEA as you start making your goal a habit.

Create Momentum With Small Wins

A Shine member shared with us on Instagram how she’s been keeping track of her wins via her Notes app on her phone. Each month has a folder, and within that, anytime something pops up that counts as her definition of a small win, she writes it down.

Keeping track of small wins is a great way to feel accomplishment—especially when it comes to abstract goals that might be harder to quantify (like increased confidence or easing anxiety).

Once you're tracking your wins, revisit them to remind yourself that progress comes in many forms and doesn’t always follow a linear path.

Regardless of which method you chose to achieve your dreams, showing up for yourself with compassion and choosing to accept all stages of yourself is key to working through goals—big or small.

Read Next: How to Actually Enjoy—And Stick With—Your New Year's Goals